Turkish Prime Minister drops 1,500 insult lawsuits

– Decision follows President Erdogan’s recent withdrawal of all lawsuits filed for insults against him
– Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim dropped 1,500 lawsuits against opposition party members, journalists, and writers charged with insulting him or his office, his lawyer said Thursday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The request for dismissals was filed Wednesday through the 10th Criminal Court of First Instance in Istanbul, Tuba Kilic said.

According to the written request, Yildirim decided to drop the lawsuits in an attempt to “contribute to the current national reconciliation environment which was re-established in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt”.

“Now is the time to make new beginnings, open new pages, join forces with the opposition, and reconcile differences,” the petition said.

The prime minister’s decision follows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent withdrawal of all lawsuits against people charged with insulting him for the past two years.

The country accuses U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen of being the mastermind of the failed coup and has sent the U.S. two official requests for his extradition to face trial.

Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999 and he is also accused of leading the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, or FETO.

The coup attempt left 238 martyrs in its wake and nearly 2,200 others injured.